Culture at Braze

Navigating a Remote Culture in the New Normal

Samantha Eisner By Samantha Eisner Apr 30, 2020

In the blink of an eye, remote culture has become the new norm. It’s hard to imagine that any company was prepared for this sudden, large-scale transition. However, it’s amazing to be at an organization that rolls with the punches and adapts so easily.

It was important to everyone here that Braze maintained the arms-open, roll up your sleeves, work-hard-play-hard type of culture that we’ve developed and nurtured over the years. Our first thought as we transitioned to a fully remote workforce was, “How are we going to keep employees engaged?” What we found out quickly was that no one was waiting to be told to get involved. Teams took it upon themselves to immediately start creating their themed happy hours, #pandemic-meals Slack channels, virtual meditation, and much more. At a time when we felt so far apart, employees from across the company immediately came together to foster the Braze culture.

It's hard to list all of the things that employees are doing to keep Braze engaged. While departments and offices are holding local activities, it’s important that programming from the Employee Experience team was streamlined globally. To name a few of our programs, we’ve introduced:

  • Virtual Wellness Wednesdays where each of our office time zones are broadcasting meditation, yoga, etc. to make sure we are keeping an eye on our mental and physical health.
  • Trivia Tuesday, a simple Slack game to see who gets a series of questions right, no incentive, just fun.
  • Virtual Kids Day, where we partnered with our Parents@Braze Employee Resource Group (ERG) to send home care packages for employee families and hosted a virtual tour at a petting zoo for all our mini-bosses to get in on the fun.

Lastly, we are working with Donut, a company that integrates with Slack to randomly pair employees for “coffee chats”. This tool introduces you to a new colleague that may not be in your office, team, or even in your time zone! It was a great addition that we will likely continue to use when we are back in the office.

It’s a tough time to navigate culture in a way that fits into everyone's schedule. We have parents trying to do multiple jobs at once, singles living alone, and those who are just enjoying the WFH life. In short, this can never be a one size fits all culture. An important thing to remember is options keep people interested. We need to give our teams choices to get engaged, but don't be offended if they choose not to. We are all coping with this new way of life differently.

Samantha Eisner

Samantha Eisner

Sam is the Manager of Employee Experience and Culture out of the Braze New York office. Her main focus is to enhance company culture through employee engagement and internal programming. When she's not being a total people geek, she's either bingeing bad reality television or trying out a new workout class!

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